Antique gun regs?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Twmaster, Nov 18, 2013.

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  1. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    I've got an Argentine Mauser, model 1891 built in 1892. I know firearms made before 1898 are considered antiques and do not require an FFL to transfer. However I have one nagging question about this.

    This rifle has been sporterized. The barrel was shortened and the stock was cut back. It's a nice looking rifle, not a 'bubba' job.

    Anyhow, do the modifications to the rifle disqualify it's antique status like such mods would do to a C&R rifle?
     
  2. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I'm thinking no. It may not conform to C&R, but the action date remains the same, so no change in antique status.
     
  3. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    ^^ This "sort of"

    It's an Antique and not affected by any FFL requirements, which takes it out of the perview of even C&R FFL requirements.

    IF it were post-1898, (say 1900) it would be a firearm, and require FFL transfer, ad in unaltered condition would be C&R approved for transfer to an 03 FFL. This one would not be a candidate for C&R status due to modification from original *unless* the owner applied to the BATFE to have it added to the registry based on some other unique feature (a famous custom shop product, etc). Simple stated, the basic "50 years old" criteria would not apply.

    In any event since it's an antique, by definition, none of this applies. It's just an antique.


    One closing note, it's actual date of manufacture, not "model number" (IE: 1897 Winchester, etc) that determines the antique status. It's your obligation to prove upon demand the actual date of manufacture. Having a dated receiver is a real plus.


    Willie

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  4. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    Thanks Willie. I suspected the action was what made all the difference. As this is Marked Ludwig Loewe, Berlin it has to be made before 1897 as loewe merged with DWM in that year.
     
  5. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    As I understand it, if a gun military or civilian is a pre-1898 Title I (1968 GCA) antique firearm, it stays an antique firearm if sporterized. While a sporterized military antique may not be very collectible as an antique, I have been told it retains its legal status as an antique firearm.

    But, if a gun is a 1898 or older modern firearm but qualifies for the ATF Curio & Relic list (C&R collectors license or "cruffle"), it becomes a Title I (1968 GCA) modern firearm if irreversably sporterized or modernized. All the more reason to not make permanent changes, but retain the original stocks, sights, etc. if you do want to modernize or sporterize a C&R listed firearm.

    Off topic maybe, an antique firearm is still a firearm, just not subject to the GCA (federal Gun Control Act). For other state and local legal purposes (such as state of Tennessee "going armed" statute) it will probably be considered a weapon especially if carried or used as a weapon (I would not walk down my hometown city street open carrying an 1888 Commission Mauser for self-defense and try to argue to police that it is not a firearm under federal law).
     
  6. rromeo

    rromeo Member

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    And antiques are still subject to NFA. You cannot make your 1898 shotgun into a Lupara, without a tax stamp.

    Edited to add: That is the case if it fires modern ammunition. A muzzleloader is not controlled by NFA, so you can make a short barrelled muzzleloader.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  7. OldMac

    OldMac Member

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    Interesting topic. I was contemplating a major modification to a Turkish Mauser. The turkish lettering is 1893 but it also has rearsenal date in the 50's. Did the factory reissue modernize the antique so it loses legal non-firearm status? Does anything change if i install a 308 barrel?
     
  8. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    ^ No, it's still an antique.

    To another post above, there is no mechanism by which a pre-1898 antique can go on the C&R list, as it is NOT A FIREARM as defined by the BATFE. You can customize it all you like.


    Willie

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  9. TRX

    TRX Member

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    My interpretation of the ATF regulations:

    It's always an antique if it was made before 1898. The ATF also specifies replicas of pre-1898 guns are also classified as antiques.

    "Antique" is independent of "C&R." "Once an antique, always an antique." A C&R may lost its C&R status, though.

    If it is more than 50 years old it is a "Curio and Relic" if it is in substantially its original condition. The ATF has held that modifications like "sporterizing" are essentially creating a new firearm, so they then lose their C&R status when modified.

    As an example, take an Enfield manufactured in 1955. It would be a C&R. But it was sporterized in 1964; it was therefore a "new rifle", and wouldn't be C&R until next year. But if it was sporterized in 1962, it would once again be a C&R, because it was "made" 51 years ago.

    If you go to atf.gov and look at the C&R list, there are lots of firearms there that are less than 50 years old; some *much* less. Many of them are commemoratives or one sort of another, others limited-production firearms. In this case, someone petitioned the ATF to class, say, their "2005 Chuck Norris Limited Edition 1911 Commemorative" as a C&R, and the ATF granted it. I have no idea of the reasoning behind this sort of thing.
     
  10. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Just to nitpick, the definition of an antique in the law is anything made "in or before 1898." So technically, we're talking about "pre-1899" and not "pre-1898."
     
  11. TRX

    TRX Member

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    Correct, and thank you for the correction!
     
  12. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    That's the 'curio' part of Curio and Relic.
     
  13. tyeo098

    tyeo098 Member

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    'Curio' is fancy for 'neat'

    'Curio and Relic' means 'Neat and Old'
     
  14. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    "If you go to atf.gov and look at the C&R list, there are lots of firearms there that are less than 50 years old"


    Uhh...... :banghead:

    That's because if it's older than 50 years old it does not need to be on the list.... (unless it's something like a too-short Winchester 92 trapper that is excluded from NFA due to being a curio and on the list).

    Bottom line: The list is for CURIOS that do not meet the blanket RELIC (50 year old) definition. You can apply to have many different sorts of things added to the CURIO list irrespective of age. Anything more than 50 years old that is on the list is there just because it was added before it reached 50 and remains because there's no reason to remove it.


    Pre-1898 antiques and replicas thereof cannot be on the list because they are not firearms as defined by the BATFE,

    UNALTERED FIREARMS 50 years old and older do not need to be on the list (but might be) because they are defined as relics without regard to their rarity, provinence, etc.

    FIREARMS less than 50 years old can be added to the list if they derive a large part of their value by being associated with some historical event, are prototypes, rare items deriving their value from being collectable, etc.




    Willie


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  15. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    Illinois does not recognize any of this. If it goes boom it is a firearm. Muzzle loaders are fire arms as well.
     
  16. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    ^^

    The discussion is laws at the federal level in particular if a FFL (which is a FEDERAL Firearms License) is needed to transfer the particular rifle being questioned by the OP.

    State laws differ, example: In NJ a slingshot is defined as a firearm. Then again, in NJ state law defines a tomato as a vegetable. Fruits and vegetables are taxed differently in NJ, and the tomato lobby managed to have a state law declaring that a tomato is not a fruit, in conflict with every other definition used by anyone.



    Willie

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  17. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    And I thought gun laws didn't make any sense.
     
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